Paul Ferguson has two selections from Kempton for us on Saturday; One For The Guv’Nr at 14:55 and Our Kaempfer in the 16:05. Compare odds and bet.
Nicky Henderson took the Soccer AM Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago with Oscar Hoof and he can strike again this afternoon with One For The Guv’Nr (2:55).
The Oscar gelding won a couple of bumpers last term and bumped in to a smart rival on his debut over timber at Exeter in December, finishing just over a length off Robinsfirth.
He probably didn’t need to improve on that to win easily at Ludlow last time and, having also won his bumpers around Taunton and here on the all-weather, the six-year-old clearly has plenty of pace for sharp tracks. He can take this and probably book himself a ticket to Aintree.
Henderson saddles another exciting novice in the shape of the unbeaten Sugar Baron later on and, if it has continued to rain throughout Friday evening, that will help his cause, but slight preference is for the more experienced Our Kaempfer (4:05).
An impressive winner for this column at Market Rasen last month, Charlie Longsdon’s imposing six-year-old has progressed throughout the season and is learning to settle with racing.
Noel Fehily gave him a fine ride last time (as did Barry Geraghty aboard Sugar Baron at Newbury, to be fair) and, again, he could be looking put himself in the Aintree picture this afternoon.
Fifth in the Grade 2 bumper on Grand National day last year, he would probably appreciate a better surface than his likely main danger, so connections will no doubt be hopeful that the rain eases. This looks a good race between the pair.
I’m having a couple of days off after today, but will be back on Tuesday.
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